Dr Michael Hau

Dr Michael Hau


Michael Hau graduated from the University of Tübingen (Germany) with an M.A. in history and anthropology.

He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Iowa and spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

In 2005/2006, he returned to the Institute for three months to work on his research project about German sports and work sciences in the 1920’s and 30’s. He joined the School of Historical Studies in July 2002.



Institution: Monash University
Year awarded: 2005


Institution: University of Iowa
Year awarded: 1997


Current Research

He is working on a cultural history of performance (Leistung) in Weimar and Nazi Germany. The project explores the role of the sports and work sciences in bio-political debates about productivity and performance enhancement. His other research interests focus on the the history of meritocracy with a focus on meritocratic concepts in work and educational settings during the Twentieth century.



  • Hau, M., 2003, The Cult of Health and Beauty in Germany: A Social History, 1890-1930, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago USA.

Journal Articles

  • Hau, M., 2008, Sports in the human economy : ‘Leibesübungen‘, medicine, psychology, and performance enhancement during the Weimar Republic, Central European History, vol 41, issue 3, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 381-412.
  • Hau, M., 2000, The Holistic Gaze in German Medicine, 1890-1930, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol 74, issue 4, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore USA, pp. 495-524.
  • Hau, M., 1999, Gender and Aesthetic Norms in Popular Hygienic Culture in Germany from 1900 to 1914, Social History of Medicine, vol 12, issue 2, Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, pp. 271-292.

Book Chapters

  • Hau, M., 2011, Asceticism and pleasure in German health reform: Patients as clients in Wilhelmine Sanatoria, in Beyond Pleasure: Cultures of Modern Asceticism, eds Evert Peeters, Leen Van Molle and Kaat Wils, Berghahn Books, UK and USA, pp. 42-61.
  • Hau, M., 2010, The normal, the ideal, and the beautiful, in A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Age of Empire, eds Michael Sappol and Stephen P. Rice, Berg Publishers, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 149-170.
  • Hau, M., 2009, Biopolitik der Leistungssteirgerung: Arbeit als Sport in der Weimarer Republik und im Nationalsozialismus (Biopolitics of performance enhancement: Work as sport in the Weimar republic and national socialism), in Limbus Australian Yearbook of German Literary and Cultural Studies, eds Franz-Josef Deiters, Axel Fliethmann, Birgit Lang, Alison Lewis, and Christiane Weller, Rombach Buchverlag, Germany, pp. 87-100.
  • Hau, M., 2009, La Beauté Dévoyée, in: 100 000 Ans de Beauté, eds. Elizabeth Azoulay et Françoise Gaillard; Vol. 4 Modernité, ed. Marc Nouschi, Babylone/Gallimard, Paris France, pp. 92-94 (English edition 2010, Chinese edition 2012).
  • Hau, M., 2006, Body Culture, in Europe since 1914, eds Jay Winter, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Detroit, pp. 386-390.
  • Hau, M., 2004, The humane expert: the crisis of modern medicine during the Weimar Republic, in Experts in Science and Society, eds Elke Kurz-Milcke and Gerd Gigerenzer, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York USA, pp. 105-122.
  • Hau, M., 2002, Körperbildung und sozialer Habitus. Soziale Bedeutungen von Körperlichkeit während des Kaiserreichs und der Weimarer Republik, in Wissenschaften und Wissenschaftspolitik: Bestandsaufnahmen zu Formationen, Brüchen und Kontinuitäten im Deutschland des 20. Jahrhunderts, eds Rüdiger vom Bruch and  Brigitte Kaderas, Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart Germany, pp. 125-141.
  • Hau, M., 2001, Experten für Menschlichkeit? Ärztliche Berufsethik, Lebensreform und die Krise der Medizin in der Weimarer Republik, in Medizingeschichte und Medizinethik: Kontroversen und Begründungsansätze 1900-1950, eds Andreas Frewer and  Josef N. Neumann, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt Germany, pp. 124-142.
  • Hau M., (2000), (together with Mitchell Ash): Der normale Körper – seelisch erblickt, inGesichter der Weimarer Republik. Eine physiognomische Kulturgeschichte, eds. Sander Gilman and Claudia Schmölders, Dumont Verlag, Cologne Germany, pp. 12-31.

Book Reviews

  • Leith Passmore, Ulrike Meinhof and the Red Army Faction. Performing Terrorism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), reviewed for Limbus. Australisches Jahrbuch für germanistische Literatur- und Kulturwisssenschaft (2012).
  • Nadine Rossol, Performing the Nation in Interwar Germany. Sport, Spectacle, and Political Symbolism, 1926-36 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), reviewed for Cultural and Social History 2012).
  •  Erik N. Jensen, Body by Weimar. Athletes, Gender, and German Modernity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), reviewed for Journal of Modern History 84, 2 (2012), pp. 519-521′
  •  Kai Schiller and Christopher Young, The 1972 Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany (Berkeley: University of California press, 2010), reviewed for American Historical Review, 117, 2 (2012), p. 630.
  •  Katja Patzel-Mattern, Ōkonomische Effizienz und gesellschaftlicher Ausgleich: Die industrielle Psychotechnik in der Weimarer Republik (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2010), reviewed for German History 30, 1 (2012), pp. 148-150.
  •  Heather Wolffram, The Stepchildren of Science: Psychical Research and Parapsychology in Germany, c. 1870-1939 (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2009), reviewed for Central European History 44, 4 (2011), pp. 738-740.
  •  Ana Carden-Coyne, Reconstructing the Body: Classicism, Modernism, and the First World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), reviewed for Social History of Medicine 24, 1 (2011), pp. 187-189.
  •  Thomas Bryant, Friedrich Burgdörfer (1860-1967). Eine diskursbiographische Studie zur deutschen Demographie im 20. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2010), reviewed for German History 29, 4 (2011), pp. 683-684.
  • Susan Barton, Healthy Living in the Alps. The Origins of Winter Tourism in Switzerland, 1890-1914 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009), reviewed for American Historical Review 115, 2 (2010), p. 631.
  •  Eric Ehrenreich, The Nazi Ancestral Proof. Genealogy, Racial Science, and the Final Solution(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007), reviewed for German History 28, 4 (2010), pp. 594f.
  •  Axel C. Hüntelmann, Hygiene im Namen des Staates. Das Reichsgesundheitsamt 1976-1933 (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2008), reviewed for German History 27, 4 (2009), pp. 611ff.
  •  Florentine Fritzen, Gesünder Leben. Die Lebensrefomrbewegung im 20. Jahrhundert(Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2006) reviewed for Social History of Medicine 22, 2 (2009), pp. 411ff.
  •  Carole Poore, Disability in Twentieth-Century German Culture (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2007), reviewed for Journal of Social History 43, 2 (2009), pp. 289ff.
  •  Jennifer Karns Alexander, The Mantra of Efficiency. From Waterwheel to Social Control(Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2008), reviewed for Social History 35, 1 (2010), pp. 118f.
  •  Ulf Schmidt, Karl Brandt: The Nazi Doctor. Medicine and Power in the Third Reich (London: Continuum, 2007), reviewed for German History 27, 1 (2009), pp. 304f.
  •  John Alexander Williams, Turning to Nature in Germany. Hiking, Nudism, and Conservation, 1900-1940 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007), reviewed for Social History 34, 1 (2009), pp. 99f.
  •  Todd Samuel Presner, Muscular Judaism. The Jewish Body and the Politics of Regeneration (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), reviewed for German Studies Review XXXI, 2 (2008), pp. 413f.
  •  Chad Ross, Naked Germany. Health, Race, and the Nation (Oxford: Berg, 2005), reviewed for Medical History 52, 4 (2008), pp. 557f.
  •  Dagmar Herzog, Sex after Fascism: Memory and Morality in Twentieth-Century Germany(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), reviewed for modernism/modernity 14, 2 (2007), pp. 432ff.
  •  Alexandra Gerstner, Barbara Könczöl, Janina Nentwig (eds.), Der Neue Mensch. Utopien, Leitbilder und Reformkonzepte zwischen den Weltkriegen (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2006) reviewed for sehepunkte 7, 4 (2007), [15.04.2007], URL:http://www.sehepunkte.de/2007/04/10790.html.
  •  Andreas Killen, Berlin Electropolis. Schock, Nerves, and German Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006) reviewed for Journal of the History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences 62, 1 (2007), pp. 107-109.
  •  Corinna Treitel, A Science of the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) reviewed for American Historical Review 110, 1 (2005), pp. 241f.


Current Supervision

  • Research MA. Supervisors: Attwood, B (Joint), Hau, M (Joint-co).
  • Research PhD. A History of Australian Fatherhood, 1918-1960. Supervisors: Twomey, C (Main), Hau, M (Associate), Peel, M (Associate).
  • Research MA. The men of the 3rd Battalion AIF during the First World War. Supervisors: Thomson, A (Main), Hau, M (Associate).
  • Research MA. To explore Ibn Sina’s knowledge management in his Canon of Medicine. Supervisors: Mews, C (Main), Hau, M (Associate).

Completed Supervision

  • Landes, J. Program of Study: (Masters) 2008. Supervisors: Markus, A (Main), Hau, M (Associate).
  • Scully, R. Program of Study: Admiration, antagonism, ambivalence: British images of Germany, 1860-1914. (PHD) 2008. Supervisors: Caine, B (Main), Hau, M (Associate).
  • Sturman, B. Program of Study: Coloured fire – The development of coloured pyrotechnic flames in Early Nineteenth Century Europe. (Masters) 2011. Supervisors: Hau, M (Main), Garrioch, D (Associate).
  • Stylianou, M. Program of Study: Combating ‘Ignorance… the greatest enemy of health’: health education in Australia, 1945-1981. (PHD) 2010. Supervisors: Twomey, C (Main), Hau, M (Associate).